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Arctic Monkeys - "Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not" Cover Art

10 of the best 2006 debut albums that helped shape their genre

2006 was an amazing year for music and it’s hard to believe that it was 15 years ago already. It was also the year that some influential artists broke onto the scene with their debut studio albums. Artists that have gone on to heavily influence their respective genres from hardcore to hip-hop to neon-pop. We’re here to take a look at 10 of the most influential debut albums released in 2006.

10. Angels & Airwaves – We Don’t Need to Whisper

‘We Don’t Need to Whisper’ was the debut studio album of the rock band Angels & Airwaves. Produced by Tom DeLonge of Blink 182 fame it was inspired by personal crises and global events. Even though the album received mixed reviews from critics it sold 127,000 copies in its first week and has now sold over 800,000 copies. It has certainly inspired many bands since then.

9. Fightstar – Grand Unification

The British post-hardcore band Fightstar pleasantly surprised many people with their debut studio album ‘Grand Unification’. The frontman was Charlie Simpson best known for being one-third of the band Busted so his work with Fightstar was far removed from the sound many associated with him. He explained at the time that the band did not want to produce a “typical post-hardcore record”. What they did produce was a concept album that was darker than the emo craze popular at that time and was well met by fans and critics alike.

8. Lily Allen – Alright, Still

‘Alright, Still’ was the debut studio album by singer Lily Allen. Lilly had her own style and although the album was, in essence, a pop album it was influenced by hip-hop, reggae and ska music. In this album, Lily got to show off her modern East London accent, dark humour and gave the public a new style of music to enjoy.

7. The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out

This debut studio album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ by the young band The Kooks helped shape the indie rock music scene for years to come. The album from the then pretty much unknown group of lads has sold over 2,000,000 copies worldwide since it’s release. Despite its success, the release was overshadowed by another Indie album that is in fact number 2 on this list.

6. Boys Like Girls – Boys Like Girls

Boys Like Girls was the debut studio album by the American pop-rock band by the same name. The band promoted the lyrically semi-autobiographical record around the USA and the UK by supporting well known pop-punk acts and appearing at music festivals and amusement parks. The band did not make a big splash in the UK compared to the USA with this album but by May 2008 the album had sold over 532,000 copies.

5. Lupe Fiasco – Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor

The album is more commonly known as simply ‘Food & Liquor’ was the debut studio album for the rapper Lupe Fiasco. It was released in September to critical acclaim featuring production from The Neptunes, Mike Shinoda, Kayne West, Needlz, Soundtrakk, Craig Kallman and Prolyfic. The album, which was named best hip-hop album of 2006 by several publications, discussed poverty, racism and individuality. Its influence can still be heard today.

4. Cobra Starship – While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets

Unlike many of the albums on this list Cobra Starships debut studio album ‘While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets’ is believed to have only sold 69,000 copies to date. However, their influence on the neon pop scene was tremendous and they went on to have many other hits. Frontman Gabe Saporta was best known for his role in the band Midtown but excelled in his showmanship for this new project bringing everything he’d learnt already and more to the center stage.

3. Bring me the horizon – Count your blessings

‘Count Your Blessings’ is the debut studio album by Bring Me the Horizon. The album is representative of the band’s early deathcore sound. The band would go on to be an influence on many bands in their scene even after Bring Me the Horizon changed their sound for something less heavy and aggressive.

2. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not

This debut studio album by the English indie band Arctic Monkeys, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ was the fastest-selling debut album in British music history. They actually sold 360,000 copies in its first week and It received the 2006 Mercury Prize for Best Album. It is sometimes called the best rock album of the decade and is the album that overshadowed The Kooks ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ released in the same week.

1. Taylor Swift – Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift was only 16 when she released her debut studio album ‘Taylor Swift’. The record is the longest-charting album of the 2000s decade. SInce its release, Taylor Swift has gone on to become one of the most influential people in pop music.